Sunday, July 31, 2016

5 Exercises for Fully Defined Ab Muscles

You'll need to do more than sit-ups for the ab definition you're looking for.

We are bombarded with magazine ads, infomercials, and Instagram pictures of fit looking people with shiny, rippling washboard abs. Most media hype would have you believe that in order to obtain that illustrious six-pack, endless sit ups are the answer. In reality, regardless if you are a guy, girl, or a new mother looking to tighten her tummy, doing endless sit-ups is not the way to get fully defined abdominal muscles.


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Saturday, July 30, 2016

3 of the Best: This Week's Top Articles, Vol. 41

These pieces have caught your attention throughout the week. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to our weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Saturday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.


female overhead squat

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday FAQs: Potluck options, Raw Chocolate Brownie swaps, fun lunch ideas, and more!


It’s hard to believe we’re on the cusp of another long weekend here in Canada! Is it really August 1st on Monday!? We’re looking forward to celebrating our friends’ wedding tomorrow, and getting together with some neighbours and their kiddos for a pool day on Sunday. Oh, and a 3-day reprieve from all this renovation noise, hah. Should be a good one! I hope you enjoy yours, too. 

Q1. Hi Angela, I’ve got a potluck SOS! On the August long weekend we have a big horseshoes competition at my cottage, and this year I’m stumped for what to bring to the dinner afterward. It’s my first year going as a vegan, and I want to bring something I can eat but that everyone else will enjoy, too. Do you have any ideas? I thought about your Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad, but then I remembered at least three different people always bring Caesar salads!!

A. Hey Cassie, Sounds like you have a fun weekend in store! For a hearty entrée-type dish, my Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 149) is bound to be a hit at your potluck—its name’s well earned! You could also try my Next Level Vegan Enchiladas or Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip (p. 83) served with tortilla chips. For all three, I would try assembling beforehand, storing it in a cooler, and cooking it just prior to serving. For a quick, low-fuss appetizer, you could make some homemade hummus (like my Classic Hummus in The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 89) and pair it with a platter of homemade or store-bought pitas, breads, and/or crackers (my Endurance Crackers are great served with hummus!). A couple solid alternatives to the Caesar salad standby include my Best Shredded Kale Salad and Tangy Cilantro-Lime Quinoa Salad. For both of those salads, I would wait to mix in the dressing until shortly before serving so it stays fresh and flavourful. And dessert-wise, it’s hard to go wrong with portable, easy-to-serve Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love those. I hope these ideas get the wheels turning, Cassie—have a happy and safe long weekend!

Q2. Your Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies look amazing! I love the idea of double chocolate. Is there a substitution for walnuts?

A. Hi Katie, The walnuts lend a nice “brownie” flavour, but you can absolutely substitute them if need be! Pecans are probably the most popular swap, but I’d think almonds would work well, too. Almonds are a bit drier than walnuts or pecans so you might need to add a touch of water when processing to help it hold together. Be sure to let us know what you come up with!

Q3. Hi. I am trying to eat healthy but watch calories/fat after having baby #4. Do you post nutritional information anywhere? Also I would like to refer patients to you but many are diabetic and also watching weight, so they need to keep track of macros.

A. Hi Lori, Big congrats on baby #4! What an exciting time for you and your family (and slightly busy, I imagine!). With respect to your question, you’ll find some older recipes have nutritional information available. I’m also happy to let you know that the nutritional info for all of the recipes in my second cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, will be available on my website by the time the book launches this September. For recipes on the blog and in my first cookbook that don’t currently have nutritional info available, I recommend using a free online tool like or, or an app like MyFitnessPal. (Side note: I do receive a lot of requests for nutritional information, so if there are any registered dietitian students out there who are looking for some supplementary intern work, please send your updated resume to with the subject line: Nutritional Analysis. Thanks!) 

Q4. I love these vegan lunch ideas, but I have one problem: my partner and I work from home, and he will not eat another sandwich, soup or salad, he was mostly raised on those, so not sure what to do for lunches anymore. Anyone have ideas? He cannot have lentils or beans of any kind, thanks.

A. Hi Jerry, Oh, that’s a tough one! I find the benefit of working at home, though, is that you have full access to your kitchen, so that should help expand your options a bit more. My Broccoli & Cashew Cheese-Quinoa Burritos (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 159) are a tasty possibility; the filling could be prepared beforehand, stored in the fridge in an airtight container, and reheated then placed in a tortilla wrap when you’re ready to have it for lunch. Sometimes just switching up the traditional sandwich into a wrap makes things so much more exciting! You could also do the same with my other burrito fillings (try my newest DIY Burrito Bowl or my Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos from back in 2011!). If he can’t have beans, you could simply leave them out or swap them for more veggies, tofu, or quinoa. Again, you can prepare the filling in advance and simply reheat the leftovers and wrap it up for lunch. Easy and so tasty! The filling often tastes even better the next day, too.

If you’re open to a “second breakfast”–type meal, I’d recommend my Sunrise Scramble with Roasted Home Fries & Avocado Toast (p. 33). Or, if you’re really on board with second breakfast, there’s nothing wrong with going for a hearty smoothie bowl (like my Green Tea Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl), overnight oats, or a meal-sized protein smoothie. Sometimes when it’s really hot out I make a huge meal-sized smoothie that’s packed with hemp, chia, protein powder, veggies, fruit, and more.

You could also whip up my Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip (p. 83). Stored in an airtight container, it can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days and easily reheated in the oven, so you can make a batch one evening and let it feed you for at least a couple lunchtimes (depending on how quickly you gobble it down! It never seems to last very long in our house…).

Comments of the week:

“Angela, I have been making variations of this salad since I saw your post years ago and finally have to say…it is the best thing ever! A few years ago I opted to eat less meat based products. (I love cheese…so I haven’t given up dairy) and this was the first thing I made from your blog…totally saved me! Love it! I usually only use 1/2 the oil and have substituted other dried or fresh fruits for the dried cranberries. Delish! And, I have shared your site and this recipe so many times that I am no longer able to take it to certain outings…others in our group bring it instead. Thanks for the recipes! ( Your cookbook is also my favorite.)”

That’s too funny, Mindy—you know your go-to recipe is a hit when people start borrowing it! Thanks for leaving the awesome comment, sharing those modifications with us, and spreading the Oh She Glows love. I’m so happy you enjoy the cookbook so much, too!

“Thank you so much for this Chocolate Raspberry Dreams Breakfast Parfait, Angela! My son is two weeks old and preparing breakfast while holding him has been a challenge, so I really needed to find healthy breakfast recipes that I could prepare the night before. This parfait just made my day…so nutritious, delicious, and easy to make!:)”

Theresa, I can so relate to “preparing breakfast while holding” your kiddo! My 22-month-old still loves to be picked up so she can watch me cook. ;) (Who knew food prep could be a workout too?!) But yes, prepping breakfast in advance is so key, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the parfaits! It’s a nice change from the typical smoothie or bowl of oats. Congrats on your little one, by the way! I’m so excited to have a newborn in my arms again soon. :) Soak him up.  

PS – That little slice of deliciousness at the top of the post is my Double Dark Chocolate Macaroon Tart. Never a bad idea.

Protect Your Mass: Options For Lean Muscle

The best options for developing lean muscles is to intensify your workouts, increase lifting and add more time to daily workouts thinking it would speed up your fitness goals, and protect your muscle mass

Your efforts will be for naught if you fail to take notice of steps to protecting your muscle mass and it may take some effort to ensure that muscle gain is not only limited to the gym.

For many CrossFit enthusiasts, the need to be physically fit also relates to the body’s need to stay healthy and nutrition is a very important aspect the needs to be considered by every CrossFit practitioner.

Protecting Your Muscle Mass With Proper Nutrition

Protein is a key contributor in protecting the muscles mass and gaining it for the body. Simply put, it is the protein storehouse for the body. In order to develop muscle mass, the body needs a certain amount of protein to be able to add gains or ‘feed’ it. Consuming less amount of protein than needed, the body starts to consume protein from muscle tissue, which could affect your performance on your next Workout of the Day (WOD).

The good news is, it is easy to track the amount of proteins you consume and it may take a little bit of work at first by having to read through food labels and doing some calculations but as time goes, you develop the habit if doing it and the calculations can be done with your eyes closed.

Protein requirement for the body

As standard, experts agree that the body needs 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight per day, so in order to maintain healthy protein levels, a 150 pound person may need to have 150 grams of protein consumed per day.

Knowing the right amount of proteins that you find in your day-to-day meals is important so you may know what type of foods to eat and at what amounts.

Meal preparation and planning is important so you do not get to miss out on essential nutritional values for your body.

Here are some of the most common food products with their protein contents;

  • A quarter pound of beef burger has 20-25 grams of protein
  • An order of standard-cut sirloin steak can give you 25-20 grams of protein
  • An egg contains 6 grams of protein
  • Three tablespoons of hummus has 4 grams of protein
  • A serving portion of beef jerky has 15-20 grams of protein
  • A glass of whey protein shake has around 25-30 grams of protein
  • One breast of lean chicken can provide you with 25-20 grams of protein.
  • One standard fillet size of commercial salmon contains 20-25 grams of protein
  • A handful of nuts have about 7 grams of protein.
  • An egg contains 6 grams of protein

Protein supplements can also be a good source of protein, especially for those who actively work-out. Among the most popular ones are whey proteins, branched chain amino acids, protein powders and protein shakes, among others.

Make sure to get good quality proteins from reliable brands when it comes to protein supplements, so a little amount of research is important to get you the information you need for supplements that can ensure you are protecting your muscle mass.

Below is a good diet guide to help you plan and implement your programs.

Option A

  • Meal 1: 3 medium-sized buckwheat pancakes mixed with 1 scoop of  protein powder
  • Meal 2: 1 cup of Greek yogurt mixed with 2 oz. of granola
  • Meal 3: 6 oz. of fajita-style steak strips and two wheat tortillas, onions, peppers and olive oil
  • Meal 4: (pre workout) 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 medium apple
  • Meal 5: (post workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. of lean ground beef made into hamburger, whole wheat bun, low-fat cheese, 3 cups of mixed vegetables and 1 cup of strawberries

Option B

  • Meal 1: ¾ cup of oatmeal (dry) mixed with either skim milk or water, 2 eggs scrambled
  • Meal 2: 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 2 oz. of almonds
  • Meal 3: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 2 slices of low-fat cheese, 6 oz. of turkey deli meat, lettuce, tomato,  1 medium banana
  • Meal 4: (pre workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 1 medium apple
  • Meal 5: (post workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. tilapia, ½ cup wild rice (dry), small side salad with olive oil and vinegar

Option C

  • Meal 1: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with 3 tablespoons of natural peanut or almond butter, 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • Meal 2: 4  to 6 oz. of beef jerky, 1 oz. of walnuts
  • Meal 3: Medium salad with 6 oz. of shredded chicken and ¼ cup of sunflower seeds, 1 medium sweet potato
  • Meal 4: (pre workout) 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, ½ cup of blueberries
  • Meal 5: (post workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. of lean ground beef, tomato sauce, 2 oz. of whole wheat pasta (dry ), small side salad

The post Protect Your Mass: Options For Lean Muscle appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.

from The Nutrition Club

Scientific Reason You Hate Coffee Could Come From Your Parents

Scientific reason you hate coffee according to researchers could lead also lead to other theories that may prove if coffee is indeed good or bad for health.

Scientific reason you hate coffee may be inherited

Despite numerous studies and researchers on coffee, the debates are still rife as to the real nutritional value or benefits of this popular beverage. Some studies declare they find a benefits, while others claim there are risks associated with its consumption.

In a recent report published in the New York Times, a scientist from the University of Toronto analyzed a specific gene called the CYP1A2, which is partly responsible in the metabolism of caffeine and its potential impact in the heart.

This gene can be inherited from each or both of the parents and those who have the ‘fast’ variants of the CYP1A2 gene – also known as a fast metabolizer – can break down caffeine four times faster than the ‘slow’ variant of the gene.

The fast and the slow gene

In an initial study by the researchers of some 4000 adults, they found that those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 36 percent more likely to increase their risk of having a heart attack.

However, when the researchers included the gene variants in the study, they were surprised to see that the risk was found only among those who had the ‘slow’ variant of the gene.

Those that were found to have the ‘fast’ variant of the gene, actually were found to have the least risk of having a heart attack.

Study lead Prof. Ahmed El- Sohemy, PhD, a professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, points out that caffeine may play a role in triggering signs of cardiovascular problems in people who metabolize it slowly by having the slow variant of the gene as the substance stays longer in the body.

While those having the fast variants increase their caffeine metabolism and may even get to enjoy the health benefits of coffee which is believed to contain good amounts of heart-healthy antioxidants and polyphenols. They may also be less likely to suffer from any adverse effect of drinking coffee.

Some experts believe that there could be more than just the fast and slow variants of the CYP1A2 gene that scientists need to dig deeper into, as there are many other gene types that are also play a role in the metabolism of caffeine in the body.

Benefits of coffee

Caffeine may also play a role in this as it stimulates the production of dopamine, for which Parkinson’s is characterized by low amounts of this substance in the brain, as well as dopamine also being responsible for boosting production of neurotransmitters in the brain that could help provide anti-depressant effects that can help thwart off suicide attempts.

Even before news of this development reached the public, coffee has long been regarded as a ‘wonder beverage” of sorts, where it can provide benefits more than just giving you your daily boost of energy.

One of the most prevailing finds on coffee in recent history is its ability to help prevent the onset of diabetes, liver cancer, liver disease and helps promote a healthier heart.

No less than 54% of Americans over the age of 18 consume coffee everyday, who drink an average of three 9-ounce cups. 

Other interesting finds are that 65% of Americans drink it during breakfast, while 50% drink it in between meals and only 5% drink it with meals other than breakfast.

The post Scientific Reason You Hate Coffee Could Come From Your Parents appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.

from The Nutrition Club

Why Office Workers Must Exercise To Avoid Early Death

Why office workers must exercise is that it is a vital aspect of daily living and must be done for at least one hour a day to combat the increasing risks of premature deaths mostly tied with today’s workplace practices and lifestyles.

Why office workers must exercise to avoid premature death

This, after a recent study published by the Cambridge University and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences reveals that this is a growing concern in the workplace brought about by modern work lifestyles.

The researchers, based on the outcome of the study that involved some 1 million adults, shows that sitting down for at least eight hours daily increases the risk of premature death by up to a staggering 60 percent.

The claim that this sedentary lifestyle poses a great threat similar to smoking and has been found to have caused more deaths than obesity and other lifestyle diseases.

Exercise is needed for at least one hour

“You don’t need to go to the gym, it’s OK doing some brisk walking maybe in the morning, during your lunchtime, after dinner in the evening,” says Professor Ulf Ekelund, who is the lead scientist for this study. “We found that at least one hour of physical activity per day, for example brisk walking or bike cycling, eliminates the association between sitting time and death.”

Prof. Ekelund said that a walking activity at a moderate speed of over three miles an hour is enough to give the body the boost it needs from a day-long seated position.

UK advices residents to take at least 30 minutes of exercise daily

In the United Kingdom, the public has been advised by health authorities to exercise daily at least 30 minutes, half the time which scientists of the study recommends.

However, almost half of the women and a third of the men in the UK even fail to adhere to this health activity.

Modern workplace equipped with computers put more people in seats

What’s more interesting, according to the researchers, is the fact that modern technology is responsible for making the workplace more automated or dependent on computer systems that all the person needs to do is sit in front of it.

This brings about a sedentary lifestyle where workers often spend hours on end in front of their computers and go home to slump in their couches to watch television until they go to bed.

Unless radical steps are taken to break this habit and turning it to more active ones, people will have a hard time adjusting to it.

Impacts of a sedentary lifestyle

The effects of living a sedentary lifestyle can be very dangerous to health as it has been found to increase the risks of colon and breast cancers, diabetes, cognitive decline in brain function and heart disease, among many others.

The post Why Office Workers Must Exercise To Avoid Early Death appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.

from The Nutrition Club

German Scientists Find New Antibiotic Inside The Human Nose

German scientists find new antibiotic bacterium strain living inside the human nose that is capable of eliminating a pathogen that is very difficult to treat that is responsible for the development of serious skin diseases, wound infections, blood infections and pneumonia.

German scientists find new antibiotic that can kill deadly pathogens

A study published in the journal Nature, shows that German scientists discovered this antibacterial substance produced by this living organism is highly effective in treating skin infections in lab mice. The infection was caused by the bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus.

The substance was named lugdunin by the researchers, which contains potent antimicrobial properties that were effective against several varieties of bacteria, including strains that have been found resistant to antibiotics like the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and the vancomycin-resistant enterococcus bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that MRSA infection is the highest of all antibiotic-resistant threats and estimates that there have been more than 80,000 MRSA infections and caused some 11,000 deaths in 2011.

The nose knows

The scientists claim that their discovery may soon pave the way for developing a new class of antibiotics, to answer the global call for the development of new ones in the face of growing antibiotic-resistant bacteria also known as superbugs.

While conventional antibiotic researches were focused on finding compounds from bacteria living in dirt, experts believe that with the diverse variety of microorganisms in the human body, it is not impossible to find new sources of new and improved antibiotics.

Global initiative to fight superbugs

According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, superbugs are responsible for up to 10 million deaths each year due to antimicrobial resistance, with a staggering one death for every three seconds.

Superbugs, or bacteria that have evolved to resist effects of antibiotic treatments are starting raise alarms as no available counter-measures have been discovered to fight against it.

A global initiative is being pushed in campaigning for public awareness after it has raised concerns about the increasing levels of microbes developing drug resistance paving the way for the evolution of ‘superbugs’ or microbes that become resistant to any form of medication.

One of the leading causes of antimicrobial resistance is the wanton use of antibiotics by the public without proper diagnosis, resulting to microbes developing their immunities on the antibiotic strain used to’ treat’ a condition. One of these is due to the ease of access of people purchasing antibiotics and are often sold over the counter.

The post German Scientists Find New Antibiotic Inside The Human Nose appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.

from The Nutrition Club

The Controversial Paulie Zink, Part 2

Paulie is not mystical, magical, or reincarnated - he just worked insanely hard to be good.

Read part one of my journey with Paulie Zink with here.


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The Truth About Traditional Periodisation Models

We need to stop playing along with traditional ideas of periodisation because we don’t want to appear stupid.

What if I told you all the "successful" periodisation models we believe in are driven by tradition rather than evidence?


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On Success and the Illusion of Choice

Defining your purpose will make most of your choices for you.
Everybody's work and home calendars are constantly filled with urgent deadlines. Every day, we face more decisions that have to be made than there is sand on the beach. We might as well stamp “URGENT” on our forehead in bright red letters, because that is how our lives need to be if we are to achieve success in the home and in the workplace. However, with work and home life constantly competing for our time, how do we make the best possible choices to achieve success in both?

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Fuel Your Adventure: Backpacking Meal Ideas

Don't let poor food choices for your summer trip weigh you down.

I’ll be on a trail for a week in August without access to a grocery store, just the Colorado mountains. Many people take dehydrated food that you can buy at the camping store and I have to admit, it’s quite delicious. However, it doesn't have the highest-quality ingredients, and my wife cannot do dairy or wheat.


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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Basketball Performance Workout Programs For Everyone

Basketball performance workout programs are ideal fitness programs that not only focus on professional basketball fitness, but also helps provide good insight on technical skills while at the same time, builds muscles and increase strength.

Basketball performance workouts for everyone

You may not have noticed, but aside from the flexibility and endurance of professional basketball players that you see on court, you may also have taken notice of the lean body structure due to firm muscles.

Decades back, people believe that the way to a healthy body is to bulk up and gain more mass, but times have changed and staying healthy is the name of the game. You don’t have to bulk up to stay healthy.

Develop your ‘bounce’

Remember that every basketball player need to develop his jumping skill, which is why this becomes one of the focused routines for every basketball training session. The best basketball pro players have mastered their jumping skills and made them the kings of the court.

Jumping exercises help strengthen your feet and the more you develop those muscles, the bigger the chances that you increase your jumping height.

Make sure to boost your vertical jumps by working to develop your leg, thigh and even arm muscles which help provide balance while in mid-air or as you try to reach further up to maximize your rebounds.

Mastering your jumps also allow you to control your movements, which is important to avoid risking injury or harm while in mid- flight.

Speed and power

These are also two of the physical demands of a good basketball player. Developing the speed to enhance your flexibility to rocket in and out of tight spots and the power to pass, shoot from the three-point mark or manage to get hold of the ball while aiming for the ring and getting to score.

Basketball workout

You may start preparing for your regular workout to help you be at the top of your game. A good basketball players needs to be in good shape to be able to play well and perform his best on and off the court.

Just follow the workout pattern provided on the tables below, it will surely help you develop your ideal physical qualities that will provide you with more endurance, strength and discipline.


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  • Rest for 5-10 seconds in between jumps to allow for maximum intensity on the next jump.

  • Use a 2-on /1-off / 2-on / 2-off schedule for all the workout programs and allow proper 4rest times for growth and recovery.

  • Aim for the lower end with prescribed rep ranges then move your way up as you move on.

The post Basketball Performance Workout Programs For Everyone appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.

from The Nutrition Club

Summer Glow Buddha Bowl + News!


If I could live off of one thing, I’m pretty sure it would be some kind of plant-based bowl. It’s hard to beat the combo of seasonal veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, all topped off with an incredible dressing. I’m rarely disappointed. This bowl in particular is inspired by Kerr Street Cafe’s Buddha Bowl (a local restaurant), which I treated myself to the other week. Let’s just say this preggo mama basically had to waddle out of the café, because I could not stop eating despite baby nudging me that space was getting a bit tight in there. (Thankfully, I came armed with an empire waist dress!) I knew I had to recreate the bowl at home, and I’m sharing my delicious take on it today.

Before I get to the recipe, though, I have a couple exciting pieces of news to share!

1) We recently found out that The Oh She Glows Cookbook is the Top Canadian-Authored Book of 2015! Umm what the what!? I can’t even wrap my mind around this news and couldn’t be more grateful to you for your support. Here’s an excerpt from Booknet Canada’s article:

"The Oh She Glows Cookbook was published in April 2014, yet it still occupies the number one spot, even outselling heavy-hitting non-fiction titles published in 2015 like Shift Work and even the only Canadian-authored colouring book to make the list: Fantastic Cities. As an enduring title, it sits alongside 2013’s The Inconvenient Indian and the fourth-bestselling paperback children’s book of all time according to Publisher’s Weekly, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, which was published in 1995. The rest of the titles on the list were either published for the first time in 2015, or released in a new format."

THANK YOU from the bottom of my veggie-loving heart. 

2) In case you haven’t seen this on my social media channels, Chapters/Indigo is running a pre-order contest for their Most Anticipated Books of 2016 list, and my next cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, is included (so cool!). You could win a basket of my favourite kitchen items, valued at $500, including a Cusinart food processor, Bodum Brazil French Press, Wusthof Classic 8-inch Vegetable Knife, Sunwarrior Warrior Blend protein powder, Do Matcha green tea powder, and more. All you have to do is pre-order the book from Indigo and be entered to win automatically (if you pre-ordered from Indigo earlier this year or last, you’re automatically entered…yay!), or you can send a mail-in entry explaining what it means to you to cook for the people you love. Be sure to check out the full contest rules here.

You can pre-order by visiting Chapters/Indigo online. This contest is open to Canadian residents (not including Quebec unfortunately—sorry guys!). A big thanks to Chapters/Indigo and Penguin Canada for making this contest possible.

At long last…onto this glow-rious food!




Summer Glow Buddha Bowl with House Vinaigrette

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Like most plant-based bowl recipes there are a few different components that need to be prepped for this Buddha Bowl, but I'm happy to say they're all incredibly easy to whip up. I like to prepare the House Vinaigrette and quinoa in advance, maybe the day before or the morning of. This way, the bowls come together incredibly fast. While I created this bowl with summer in mind, rest assured that you can swap out the summer veggies for seasonal veggies all year long. You can also boost the protein by adding your favourite beans/legumes. This bowl is inspired by Kerr Street Cafe's Buddha Bowl.

Serves 4
Prep Time
20 Minutes
Cook time
25 Minutes
Total Time
45 Minutes


For the House Vinaigrette (makes 3/4 to 1 cup):
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons (90 to 125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
For the Buddha Bowl:
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) uncooked quinoa (I use rainbow, but any kind works)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (180 g) fresh green beans, ends trimmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups (170 g) fresh snap peas, ends trimmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups (220 g) yellow zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • Pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 cups (30 to 60 g) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and spiralized/julienned*
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and spiralized/julienned**
  • 1 to 2 large ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
  • 3/4 cup (120 g) toasted pepita seeds***


  1. For the House Vinaigrette: In a small (1-cup/250 mL) mason jar, add the vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Secure lid and shake vigorously to combine. Remove the lid and add in the olive oil. Secure the lid once again and shake vigorously until the oil is emulsified. Taste, and add additional maple syrup or oil if desired.
  2. Cook the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, add the quinoa along with 2 1/4 cups (560 mL) water. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 13 to 16 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove the lid and season the quinoa with salt and pepper.
  3. Sauté the vegetables: Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, add the olive oil, green beans, snap peas, and zucchini. Stir to combine and season with salt. Sauté the veggies over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until tender but not overcooked. You still want the veggies to have a light crispness to them. At the end of cooking, stir in the spinach and cook for a couple minutes until it wilts. Turn off the heat.
  4. Peel and spiralize the carrot and beet, and slice the avocado.
  5. To assemble: Stir all of the cooked quinoa into the skillet veggie mixture. Increase heat to medium, and cook until warmed throughout. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Portion the quinoa-veggie mixture into large shallow bowls. Top the bowls with the carrot, beet, avocado, and a generous amount of toasted pepita seeds. Lastly, shake the House Vinaigrette and drizzle about 3 to 4 tablespoons all over the top of each bowl. Any leftover Buddha Bowl mixture will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, and the leftover House Vinaigrette will keep for at least two weeks. The olive oil in the dressing tends to solidify when chilled, so be sure to allow it to sit on the counter for a bit (or warm the sealed jar in a bowl of hot water), and shake well before using. A great way to serve leftovers is to toss some baby mixed greens with House Vinaigrette and stir in some warmed quinoa-veggie mixture. Top it with sliced avocado and toasted pepitas for a quick meal.


  • * If you own a spiralizer, be sure to use a very thick carrot for spiralizing (the smaller ones won't work). Or you can simply julienne the carrot with a julienne peeler, which is what I usually do.
  • ** To avoid staining your hands, try wearing kitchen gloves while handling the beet.
  • *** To toast the pepita seeds: Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet and toast them for 8 to 12 minutes at 325°F, until golden.


Highest Risk For Early Death Is Poor Fitness

Highest risk for early death should be a cause for alarm as studies show that people who are out of shape are likely to die a premature death, compared to those who live an active lifestyle.

Highest risk for death due to poor health

In a study recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers from the University of Gothenberg, Sweden together with several research and educational institutions presented the results of a long-term study involving physical fitness among middle-aged men.

Researchers reveal that being unfit becomes a high risk factor for premature death, as people who have been found to sport an active lifestyle combined with a good diet and exercise are able to live longer, thus, pose less risk to premature death.

Lifetime research

This long-term study was initiated way back in 1963 where 1000 healthy men aged 50 years old from Gothenburg who were born in 1913 gave their permission for the study for the rest of their lives to allow scientists to understand the lifetime risks of diseases , specifically with conditions affecting the heart.

The baseline data consisted of heart rate, blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels. The men were also grouped according to those who do regular exercises and those who smoke.

After four years, extensive testing was conducted on a few of them after results were gathered from the initial tests. The new round of testing focused on determining the participants’ maximum aerobic capacity also known as VO2 max. It was through these results that scientists developed a mathematical formula that could estimate the aerobic capacity all the remaining participants.

Measuring genes and lifestyle

The scientists were able to measure both the genes and lifestyles with the breakthrough measurement process of VO2 which could tell that being overweight or having a sedentary lifestyle meant your VO2 scores were low. The VO2 max were better measurement tools compared to self-reports by participants as it shows a more accurate rating process by way of lifestyle and gene testing.

Obviously, those who smoked were determined to have greater risks of premature death based on the VO2 max statistics and this is followed by poor fitness, that scaled even higher compared to those at risk of high blood pressure  and high cholesterol levels.

Although VO2 max was not proven to have any direct effect on a person’s lifespan, but scientists believe that by improving physical fitness, they are bound to strengthen their immune system and improve the body’s capacity to fight and ward off diseases.

The study, however, does seek to remind people that the need to exercise and keeping the body fit should remain as a health concern for everyone and can surely give credence that the healthier the body, the longer one lives.

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from The Nutrition Club

Help Prevent Gout By Changing Your Lifestyle

Help prevent gout by converting into a healthier lifestyle through diet, exercise and determination to see things through.

Help prevent gout through a long term solution

Gout is a type of arthritis or inflammation of the joints, which affects the lower extremities like the feet or hands, sometimes even both. But the fact that what contributes highly to gout is lifestyle and nutritional considerations.

Gout is the result of uric acid crystals forming as deposits in the joint cavities. These uric acid crystal deposits are believed to be related to metabolic syndrome.

Medicines have come out in the open claiming to become the cure-all for many diseases.

Diet and exercise

A consistent movement and regular exercise are the hallmarks of gout prevention. The key here is to avoid vegetables and fruit that can trigger gout.

Limit fructose – Minimize fruit sugars and other foods. Just make sure to take moderate amounts as the body will store sugar as fat if it is not spent in the body.

Eat cherries- whether as a snack or a food ingredient, cherries have been proven to help treat gout. Studies show that having 10 cherries can already lower down the inflammation of the joints caused by gout.

Load up on potassium rich foods – It helps alkalize the urine and improves the excretion of uric acid from the body. Among the ideal food sources are celery, avocado, broccoli, lettuce and spinach, among others.

Drink alcohol  moderatelyalcohol use has been associated with gout development.

Drink lots of water – water intake helps dilute uric acid concentrations, as well as hastens the excretion process of uric acid from the blood stream. . Another large benefit of drinking lots of water is that you also get to avoid the development of kidney and gall bladder stones.

Regular exercise is key to also preventing gout. It helps regulate your insulin and leptin levels that reduce the buildup of uric acid in the joints.

Vitamin D also plays a key role in preventing gout. Exercising in the morning lets you hit two birds with one stone, since you get to increase your exposure to the morning sunshine that is rich in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D also helps prevent other diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Get enough sleep as it strengthens the body’s immune system and lets the body heal itself at this period.

Make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle and avoid the discomforts and pain that may be caused by gout.

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from The Nutrition Club

Sniff Test For Alzheimer’s May Tell If Person Has One

This sniff test for Alzheimer’s, according to scientists, may soon become a landmark innovation for diagnosing patients using their sense of smell, as Alzheimer’s disease has been found to affect their ability to identify familiar aroma like coffee, raspberry and smoke.

Sniff test for Alzheimers testing underway

This breakthrough discovery was presented based on studies during the last conference held last week for an international Alzheimer’s conference. The tests involved people in their 60’s who were asked to take a standard odour detection test.

“The whole idea is to create tests that a general clinician can use in an office setting,” says Dr. William Kreisl, a neurologist at Columbia University, where both studies were done.

Traditional tests are really expensive

For those spending lots of hours standing in line to wait for their turn to see the doctor, this innovative sniff test will soon make it easy for everyone.

Scientists since decades back provided data regarding ongoing testing for the disease and found that a person’s olfactory system is somewhat affected.

The study involved some 84 participants in their 60’s and 70’s, along with some 58 other people who are suffering from memory concerns. The results showed that people who had difficulty identifying odours were three times more likely to have memory problems.

Another study was conducted by the same research team four years after the initial study and they gathered some 397 people whose average age was 80 at the start of the test. The results of the tests became a good predictor of who are those likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Not accurate

Although the scientists agree that the tests were not perfect, especially due to one factor that Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease and would apparently have impacts on a person’s senses and their cognitive abilities.

The scientists, however, are hopeful that their study would pave the way for better methods that could help screen for Alzheimer’s early on and be able to develop this method more for the benefit of everyone.

Alzheimer’s is primarily caused by proteins building up in the brain that forms neural structures called “plaques” or “tangles”, that as time passes disconnects nerve cells and eventual loss of brain tissues.

Data from the Alzheimer’s Association, show that more than 5 million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and is the 6th leading cause of deaths in the United States.

The post Sniff Test For Alzheimer’s May Tell If Person Has One appeared first on NUTRITION CLUB CANADA.

from The Nutrition Club

Breastfeeding: How What You Eat Impacts You And Your Baby

breastfeeding7-450x338Over the past nine months, you have been preparing your body and mind for this moment, and the day has finally arrived! As you welcome your new baby into the world, the real work begins.

In addition to healing your body after this life-changing event, you have the new full-time job of protecting and feeding this tiny human being.

When it comes to feeding your little one, there is a vast ocean of information available about what, when, and how to feed your baby as well as what, when, and how you should eat—particularly if you’re breastfeeding.

While this article is about nutrition considerations for breastfeeding, it is not our assumption that all mothers can and want to breastfeed. We understand that this is a very personal matter and we encourage you to take the course of action that you feel is best for you and your baby, based on your individual circumstances.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Research (and the experiences hundreds of generations of women) have shown that breastfeeding offers numerous benefits to both mother and child. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, and the World Health Organization have documented an expansive body of research and data on these benefits1a-d.

Breast milk is considered nutritionally complete, delivering precisely the nutrients your baby needs. These nutrients can help reduce your child’s likelihood of obesity and diabetes later on (of course, all of those outcomes will also be influenced by your child’s nutrition and activity level as he or she grows and develops)1a-d.

In addition to providing the ideal combination of nutrients your newborn baby needs to thrive, breastfeeding benefits you, both psychologically and physiologically 1a-d. For example, breastfeeding can help guard against postpartum depression1a, 2, helps forms a strong bond between you and your baby, and reduces your long-term risk of Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and breast cancer1a-d. Breastfeeding also helps your uterus return to its normal size via the release of the hormone oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract more vigorously (which is why you may experience discomfort in your uterus when you first begin breastfeeding)1a.

When Breastfeeding Is Not Possible Or May Not Your Best Option

Sometimes a new mother has full intention of breastfeeding, but it may not be possible or realistic for a variety of reasons. For example, the baby may have trouble latching, which reduces milk production and makes it difficult to provide enough milk for the baby. Or, breastfeeding may be incredibly uncomfortable or painful for the mother, which makes it unsustainable long term.

Additionally, while you may often hear about the bonding benefits of breastfeeding, something that isn’t discussed as often or as openly is how emotionally taxing breastfeeding can be on a new mother. The frequent feedings can become very stressful, and the mother could become frustrated and start feeling detached from the experience, from her body, and from her baby. This usually occurs in the first couple months until you feel more comfortable with breastfeeding and the use of your breasts as a feeding implement. Family, friends and your OB/GYN are all helpful at this time to help you deal with the initial discomfort and emotional toll.

breastfeeding6-350x375It may also be helpful to meet with a lactation consultant to work through some of the issues that may arise if you’re having trouble breastfeeding and want to keep trying. A lactation consultant is specially trained to help you have the best outcomes and experiences with breastfeeding if you so chose to pursue it. She may suggest pumping exclusively if you are struggling with latching, discomfort for you, and time management. Some initial issues (like low milk production, for example) can often be resolved when the mother makes a few nutritional changes, coupled with the support of a lactation consultant and/or her OB/GYN, who can make sure you and your baby’s technique is ideal.

With respect to your nutrition, if you are currently struggling to breastfeed your baby, you may find some helpful information in this article.

Note: As we said, breastfeeding certainly isn’t the only way to provide your baby with the necessary nutrients to grow strong and healthy. If you have decided not to breastfeed, or are unable to breastfeed, there are many excellent infant formulas available, specially created to meet your baby’s nutritional needs. We recommend that you seek guidance from your OB/GYN doctor, lactation consultant or a registered dietitian who specializes in infant nutrition.

This article highlights several key considerations aimed at optimizing your nutrition to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients necessary to heal and fuel your body and produce ample, high-quality breast milk to nourish your baby.


Consuming adequate calories is the most important factor in maintaining a steady supply of breast milk. Exactly how many calories a breastfeeding woman needs depends on her body fat and lean mass levels and how active she is. The standard recommendation for a woman who is breastfeeding (not taking into account the aforementioned factors) is to consume an additional 450-500 calories above non-pregnant energy needs daily1a. This could be too much for some women, and insufficient for others.

Some organizations suggest that you will not need these extra calories in the first six months of breastfeeding, because your body will use your maternal fat stores to give you the extra energy you need. Others suggest those extra calories are needed right away, given that you are expending a lot of calories both, to repair your body after birth, and to make breast milk3. The truth is, your body is very dynamic during this time, and every woman’s body is different. It’s impossible to give an exact recommendation for many calories you should be consuming. You may realize these extra calories are too much if you are gaining body weight or excessive body fat. Likewise, if your are losing weight rapidly, you’re not producing enough breast milk, or you’re feeling excessively lethargic, it is likely that you’re not consuming enough calories.

breastfeeding3-350x375Right after giving birth, and for a while afterwards, your body will not look, function, or feel the same as it did before you became pregnant. While you may feel tempted to eat fewer calories in an effort to speed up post-baby weight loss or “get your pre-baby body back,” we encourage you to take your time and enjoy bonding with your baby—especially during these first six to nine months. In addition to nourishing your baby, our body is trying to recover and heal after growing and changing dramatically for the past nine months.

I personally breastfed for 11 and a half months (I tried to make it to a full year, but just couldn’t due to work demands). My body finally felt normal a few months after i stopped breastfeeding. This was my own experience, and yours may be different.

As noted above, with respect to needing fewer calories, if you gained more than the usual 25-30 pounds during your pregnancy, some of your calorie requirements might be supplied by stored body fat during the first six months of breastfeeding. Thus, calories will not need to be provided entirely by your daily food intake.

Similarly, if you were very active during pregnancy and did not gain a lot of weight or fat, or are very active post-pregnancy now (especially if you have another toddler at home to keep up with), you may need to maintain a higher calorie intake to ensure you’re producing enough breast milk. You also may need to consume higher calories if you are breastfeeding more than one child, if you are in your teens, or if you become pregnant again while you are still breastfeeding.

The quality of the calories you consume is just as important as the quantity. It’s OK if your nutrition was a little less-than-optimal for a while during your pregnancy. In fact, it’s totally normal, given the wild hormonal changes your body has experienced over the past nine months. If you were practicing healthy nutrition habits before you became pregnant (before all the weird food cravings and aversions!), it’s time to dust them off and start practicing them to some degree again. Give yourself some grace, particularly during this period.

You are still dealing with a plethora of hormones that weren’t there pre-pregnancy, so don’t get frustrated if you can’t always take charge of a “perfect day” of eating.

Most importantly, eating a variety of healthy proteins, complex carbohydrates (vegetables, grains, and legumes), fruits, and fats (nuts and oils), is all you really need to focus on. If you have strange cravings for other foods you don’t normally eat, that’s OK too. Your body is pretty smart and can help you understand what you need. And if you’re starting to make improvements to your nutrition for the first time too, that’s great!

What should you eat if you are breastfeeding?

A healthy diet for a breastfeeding woman includes the following:


As you may already be aware, protein is a building block for your muscle tissues, it is also one of the building blocks of breast milk. Although it is present in small quantities in breast milk (0.9 grams of protein per 100 mL fluid, which is less than unprocessed cow’s milk) it is one of the key nutrients in breast milk, which your baby needs in order to develop all the various proteins within their own body (muscle, enzymes, contractile proteins and even hormones, oh my!)3. Your body is smart and does a very good job ensuring that your breast milk contains enough protein.

However, to prevent your own body from breaking down its own muscle tissue protein to provide it for your baby, you need to make sure you’re consuming at least 1.0-1.2 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight, or at least 71 grams of protein per day3. You can get this easily with a daily variety of pastured/grass-fed beef, chicken, eggs, or wild caught, low-mercury fish such as salmon (see NRDC Mercury Guide for more information), organic dairy, and legumes. Common servings sizes in each meal for protein include one or two whole eggs, a palm-size amount of meat, poultry, or fish, and a one-third cup portion of beans or legumes (like hummus). Protein powders (such as whey, pea, or rice) that contain minimal or no artificial ingredients or sweeteners can help you supplement your daily protein intake, if you’re having issues eating whole food proteins in your meals due to time or taste aversions.

breastfeeding5-350x375Fat (Especially Omega-3 and Omega-6)

Both, during pregnancy and when you’re breastfeeding, it’s crucial to consume a variety of fat and essential fat sources. This is what your baby’s brain is made up of and what it needs to develop properly. There is a rapid accumulation of arachidonic acid (AA, an essential omega-6 fatty acid) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid) in a newborn’s brain, as well as DHA in the retinas, and AA in their entire body4. In a moment, we’ll take a closer look at these essential fats and their importance.

Try to include a serving of healthy fats in each meal and snack you eat. One serving can be: one whole egg yolk, a palm-size serving of salmon, a small handful of nuts or seeds, or one to two tablespoons of natural nut butter. The total amount you should consume per day will vary depending on your unique caloric requirements and should be no less than 20 percent of your total calorie intake3.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits should always make up a large portion of your daily food intake because they are an excellent source of the dietary fiber, which is necessary for proper elimination and prevention of cardiovascular disease. These foods also provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help prevent disease and promote ideal health. Just like with fats, at each meal include vegetables (non-starchy such as leafy greens and colorful, watery veggies, and starchy like squash, parsnips, or carrots), and fruits and berries that you enjoy. The serving size of vegetable you should consume depends on its nutrient and caloric density; non-starchy, leafy greens and colorful veggies are low in calories and can be eaten in large quantities (two to three cups in a meal). Starchy veggies like squash, and fruits like bananas, are higher in carbohydrates and calories and should usually be served in smaller quantities.


Combined with protein and fat (for example, oatmeal with whey protein and peanut butter) carbohydrates help keep your blood sugar stable, and if you’ve resumed working out, they restore the glycogen you used during exercise. Choose whole-food carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes, white and red potato varieties (one large or medium potato per meal), whole grains such as oats (one-third cup dry), rice or quinoa (one-half cup cooked), or sprouted grains (two slices of Ezekiel bread). Include a serving in your meals any time, but especially with your pre- and post-workout meals.

When and how much should you eat?

There is no “best” way to structure your meals, so long as you’re focusing on the recommendations mentioned above. It’s all about listening to your hunger cues. Some breastfeeding women end up grazing all day because they always feel hungry. If grazing or eating multiple smaller meals throughout the day works for you, great. If you would like to minimize grazing, try having slightly bigger meals with a little more protein or fat, to help you feel fuller and help you go a little longer between meals. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re satisfied, and eat as often as you feel you need to.

Key Nutrients for Breastfeeding Women

In addition to calories, several nutrients are particularly important when breastfeeding.


Many breastfeeding women worry about their calcium status given that they are producing milk. Naturally, calcium is an important ingredient in a balanced diet, but your requirements during breastfeeding are no different than when you are not breastfeeding. The amount you need now is the same you needed before you started producing milk, which is 1000mg per day. If you ate dairy before you were pregnant, you can continue to do so while breastfeeding, unless your baby has a particular issue with dairy foods in your breastmilk as mentioned above. You can obtain ample calcium from other foods, such as kale, collard and turnip greens, cabbage, bok choy, canned fish such as sardines or salmon (with bones), fortified soy or almond milk, and soybeans, and tofu products made with calcium sulfate6.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Breast milk delivers a rich supply of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that your baby needs for proper brain, nervous system and eyesight development. As mentioned earlier, DHA and AA (also known as ARA) are two of the essential fatty acids your baby needs the most, and are supplied in high quantities in breast milk. Babies don’t produce these fatty acids easily on their own, and will suffer without them. Look at the label for any baby formula, and you’ll notice DHA and ARA are often singled out and promoted on the front of the packaging and included in the ingredients list.

During breastfeeding, especially the early months, you may feel a craving for fatty fish like salmon, and high-fat foods like nut butters and egg yolks. Your body is giving up a lot of its own essential fatty acids and stored fat toward the production of breast milk for your baby. Choose foods rich in omega-3 (such as salmon, fish or krill oil, flax seeds and oil) and omega-6 fatty acids (such as nuts and nut butters, and hemp seeds and hemp butter). Add flax seed oil to your salads or cooked vegetables, snack on some some walnuts, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds, and eat salmon or tuna at least once or twice a week. Even if you don’t crave these foods, you will benefit from including more of them in your diet.

Pastured/grass-fed beef and certain products fortified with omega-3 or DHA (eggs, dairy, orange juice, for example), are not only excellent sources of protein, but they can also help you get a bit more of those essential fatty acids. You can also add a supplement rich in DHA, such as krill oil or algae DHA oil. Increasing DHA in your diet will increase DHA in breastmilk; 200 mg per day is recommended during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. As long as you consume foods rich in linoleic acid (an omega-6), you will get enough ARA. Most foods that contain fat contain some linoleic acids, particularly nuts, seeds, and animal fats. As you may have gathered by now, following a very low-fat diet while breastfeeding is not recommended.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for the health and development of a growing infant, to support bone health and prevent rickets. However, breast milk is typically low in vitamin D. Very few foods are high enough in vitamin D, making it very difficult to obtain this nutrient strictly through your diet. Supplementation is the best way to increase the vitamin D content of your breast milk.

A study of breastfeeding mothers recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition7 showed that there was a significant difference in vitamin D breast milk content when a mother supplemented with 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3, compared to 1000 IU per day, or no vitamin D at all. These mothers took two doses of 1000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, starting at 27 weeks gestation, although starting supplementation earlier may be beneficial to build up adequate stores upon delivery, or in the case of premature birth.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that direct supplementation of 200 IU VItamin D3 to your infant is ideal. Your pediatrician will also suggest this to you, and you can find many over-the-counter vitamin D3 drops at your local pharmacy.


The final and most important aspect of lactation is your fluid intake. Breast milk is primarily made up of water, therefore your hydration status is very important.

In a recent study completed by some of my colleagues at the University of Connecticut8, it was shown that a mother’s body will defend the volume of fluid in breast milk over and beyond the total amount of fluid she takes in each day. Plainly stated, if your fluid intake is inadequate, your baby takes priority, and you will be the one feeling the negative effects of dehydration. You will produce less urine and have a higher urine osmolality (the concentration of bodily substances, such as sodium, potassium, glucose and urea, in your pee). This could lead to bladder or kidney infections, or symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness, moodiness or confusion.

Should breastfeeding women avoid athletic supplements?

A common question among active breastfeeding moms is whether they can continue some of their previous sports nutrition products while breastfeeding. Supplements such as creatine and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).

To my knowledge there is no evidence in the scientific literature indicating that those supplements are harmful or unsafe for your child, so my answer is that the choice is always yours. Some experts suggest that creatine or BCAAs are safe, while other say it can be potentially hazardous, but again, as far as I know, there is no literature to support any claims of potential hazards. Your best bet during this time is to consume a nutritionally adequate diet as described above, with plenty of high-quality proteins, vegetables and fruits, and fluids. This tactic should give your body what it needs to help with exercise recovery, and once you are done breastfeeding, you can resume taking your sports supplements.

Can the foods you eat affect your baby’s digestion and well-being?

Some foods you eat could cause your baby to have excessive gas or other digestive issues, or could create an aversion to breast milk. Many people believe that spicy, garlicky, or acidic foods can be troublesome for a baby’s digestion, but the current available research doesn’t support that notion. In fact, most foods (including spicy and exotic ones) eaten by the mother are well tolerated by breastfeeding infants5. You may need to experiment if you notice changes in the way your baby is feeding after you’ve eaten some of these foods.

Dairy, Caffeine, and Alcohol

If you’ve eaten dairy products and your baby is sensitive to milk proteins passed on via your breast milk, (which is quite common in lactation) you will need to avoid whey protein and foods that contain dairy, and opt for non-dairy protein options instead. Signs that your baby may be sensitive to dairy proteins can include: colic-like symptoms, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, hives, and/or a stuffy, itchy nose. Always consult with your pediatrician.

While breastfeeding you should also try to limit your intake of caffeine. Caffeine in breast milk may lead to prolonged waking periods or agitation in your baby. One cup of coffee per day in the morning is usually normal and OK5.

Alcohol should be limited to an occasional single drink, because it is transferred to breast milk. The Institute of Medicine reports that eight ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or two ounces of hard liquor are safe if breastfeeding is then delayed for two hours5.

Breastfeeding and Weight Loss / Fat Loss

It’s not uncommon to hear new mothers talk about breastfeeding as a weight loss “bonus” because they believe the increased calorie burn will help with weight loss. With the ever-present pressure to not only be a perfect mother right from the start, but to also “get your pre-baby body back” it’s no wonder many new mothers share this sentiment. While fat loss—or simply getting to a point where you feel more comfortable with your body post-pregnancy—is a wholly valid goal, we urge you to practice grace and compassion toward yourself, your body, and your new role. You just created and gave birth to a human, after all! Take your time during this period to focus on bonding, adjusting to a new schedule, and nourishing your baby.


Whether or not you are breastfeeding—and regardless of how long you can or will breastfeed—your nutritional choices can make a big difference postpartum. If you’re breastfeeding, the foods you eat greatly impact the quality and quantity of the breast milk you produce for your baby. If you are not breastfeeding, your body still needs good nutrition now more than to recover and heal from labor and delivery, and to help you maintain the energy that caring for a newborn requires.

Speaking of energy, if you’ve recently had your baby and are considering starting (or restarting) your exercise routine, you’ll want to read this.

Our FREE post-pregnancy exercise report is great for brand-new mamas, although many of the exercises are also appropriate for women who are much farther along in their postpartum recovery but haven’t yet done specific exercises to heal their core and pelvic floor.

If you or anyone you know has had a baby, and hasn't done a specific core and pelvic floor healing protocol, make sure you download our FREE report.

Click to grab our FREE Post-Pregnancy Exercise Report


  1. Breastfeeding Benefits:
    a. American Academy of Pediatrics Policy on Breastfeeding and Use of Human Milk
    b. World Health Organization, 10 Facts About Breastfeeding
    c. The Endowment for Human Development, How Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers and Babies
    d. Shamir R. The benefits of breastfeeding. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2016;86:67-76
  2. Henderson JJ, Evans SF, Straton JA, Priest SR, Hagan R. Impact of postnatal depression on breastfeeding duration. Birth. 2003;30(3):175–180pmid:12911800
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics, Dietary Reference Intake: Macronutrients
  4. Clandinin MT, Flieth M. Dietary PUFA for preterm and term infants: review of clinical studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2005;45(3):205-29.
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics, Bright Futures: Nutrition Issues & Concerns
  6. USDA MyPlate, Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
  7. Wall CR et al. Vitamin D activity of breast milk in women randomly assigned to vitamin D3 supplementation during pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Feb 103(2); 382-8
  8. McKenzie A et al. Relationships Between Fluid Intake, Breast Milk Volume, and Urine Volume in Lactating Women. FASEB J April 2015 29:133.3

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